Oklahomans Join The Social Giving Movement Through Go Fund Me
EDMOND, Oklahoma - It seems everything we do in life has a price tag, and these days it seems more people are looking to others to help pay for it.
The trend has been dubbed the "Social Giving" movement; and with just a few clicks, one company leads the way, and Oklahomans are jumping on board.
“He was the nicest guy anybody could ever meet,” said Nick Mancini about his friend, Keith Kern.
Mancini said Kern, is a giving person. So, now, in his time of need, he feels it's only natural to give back.
“Our first thought was to try and get a hold of his family and find out what their immediate needs were,” Mancini said.
Over the summer, Kern suffered critical injuries in a motorcycle accident.
“He promised his parents that anytime he would take his bike out he would always be wearing his helmet but this particular time he wasn't,” Mancini said.
Kern spent weeks in a coma. While he was slowly recovering, his friends knew it would be a long and tough road ahead for him.
“Everybody wanted to help him, but there's only so much you can do,” said Kern's friend, Aaron Worley.
So Worley went online and found Go Fund Me online.
“The Go Fund Me was just a God send,” Worley said. “I had it set up in 15 minutes and had donations within the first day.”
If You'd Like To Help, You Can Donate Here
Go Fund Me is an online personal fundraising site for people to raise money for personal causes and life-events.
Based in California, Go Fund Me launched in 2010 and since then, millions of users have raised more than $400 million for their personal causes.
In fact, 6,000 new campaigns are added each day.
Like with Kern's friends, the number one reason is for medical purposes.
“It's a really quick, simple way for people to get involved,” Mancini said.
Follow Keith Kern's Recovery On Facebook
While most of the funds come from friends and family, some causes pull at the heartstrings of complete strangers.
“She's definitely more than a dog to me,” said Austin Douglas, a soldier who used Go Fund Me.
Earlier this year Douglas wanted to raise money to fly his dog, Willow, home from North Carolina. He only needed $700 but raised more than $7,000 in just a few days. Turns out, the dog stayed in North Carolina with a friend.
8/12/2014 Related Story: Former Area Marine Needs Help Getting Dog To Oklahoma
Douglas did the right thing and offered refunds to those who gave. But what about those who don't, or worse, make up a cause to scam people out of their money?
Kelsea Little, with Go Fund Me, said via email, that fraudulent campaigns are infrequent, but if they do find one, the company has the power to remove it and ban the user.
Little's number one advise: only give to people you know, which allows those campaigns that are legitimate, like Kern's, to be a life-changer.
“People have been jumping on there and just giving what they can and we're just giving his family the money,” Mancini said.
Go Fund Me charges a five percent fee on each donation. As for Keith, he continues his recovery in Edmond.